Donovan Stanberry, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry,
Donovan Stanberry, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, has denied claims that the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) has been moving at snail's pace in approving licences.
That assertion was made by some members of Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) yesterday.
The CLA was set up two years ago to establish and regulate a legal ganja and hemp industry in Jamaica.
However, in defending the track record of the CLA, Mr. Stanberry said, since establishment, the agency has received more than 315 applications.
"We only got the regulations in May of last year, and by the time we recruited and had the (staff) complement on board, we effectively really started looking at applications in any serious way about a year or so ago," he explained.
He added that the processing of the applications has been negatively affected by the fact that many of the applications are incomplete, leaving out important details or presenting problems of "discrepancies between what is written on the application and when we do our due diligence and our verification..."
So far three licences have been issued and eight granted. Eight applications were denied for not meeting certain standards.
Mr. Stanberry disclosed that 61 conditional licenses have also been approved.